Carolyn Jacobs, Psy.D.

Founder and Director

“Bowen theory is not a theory about pathology, but about the interaction of variables that produce variation in human functioning.” Kerr & Bowen, 1988.”
Southern California Bowen Family Systems Theory and Psychotherapy was established in 1999 by Carolyn Jacobs, Psy.D., Director. The program’s mission is to provide education and training to those interested in principles and concepts developed by Murray Bowen, M.D. The emphasis is on using “systems thinking” as a way to conceptualize human functioning. Bowen theory describes how relationships and emotional processes shape individual behavior and development over time. Understanding and applying Bowen theory’s principles and concepts can lead to more effective options for managing life’s challenges. The focus is on developing a way of thinking that promotes responsible and thoughtful application of Bowen theory to one’s personal life, work settings and other social systems.

Dr. Jacobs, a licensed psychologist in San Diego, CA., participated in the post-graduate training program at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C. from 1995 to 2000. In addition to her private psychology practice, she offers a variety of Bowen theory education and training venues throughout the year which serves as a resource for professionals using Bowen theory in their personal lives and clinical work.

Curriculum Vitae

Carolyn Jacobs, Psy.D. is a licensed Psychologist (PSY 15774) and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT 27264) in California. Dr. Jacobs has a private psychology practice in Chula Vista, CA. specializing in individual, couple and family psychotherapy. She is the Director of Southern California Bowen Family Systems Theory and Psychotherapy, which offers education, training and consultation to individuals, groups and organizations interested in increasing their knowledge of Bowen Family Systems Theory. Dr. Jacobs also has fourteen years of experience as a Registered Nurse and practiced in Maryland, Florida and California.

  • 1995 – 2000 Special Postgraduate Training Program, Bowen Center for the Study of the Family (Georgetown Family Center), Washington, D.C.
  • 1992 Doctor of Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, Alliant/United States International University, San Diego, CA.
  • 1988 Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, United States International University, San Diego, CA.
  • 1970 Graduate of Jackson Memorial School of Registered Nursing, Miami, Florida
  • 2012 to Present – Approved Continuing Education Provider for Psychology, California Psychological Association – Office of Professional Development (CPA-OPD No. SOU042)
  • 2001 AAMFT Approved Supervisor of Supervisors, California
  • 1998 Licensed Psychologist (PSY15774), California
  • 1997 Betty Ford Center for Professionals in Residence Family Program, Palm Desert, CA. (36.5 CE credits for certification)
  • 1990 Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC27264), California
  • 1980 Licensed Registered Nurse, California (currently inactive)
  • 1977 Licensed Registered Nurse, Maryland (currently inactive)
  • 1970 Licensed Registered Nurse, Florida (currently inactive)
  • Private psychology practice in San Diego, CA, specializing in individual, couple, and family psychotherapy through the lens of Bowen Theory.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of DSM Disorders and V- Codes.
  • Participating provider for most private insurance companies and EAP programs.
  • Twenty-five plus years of experience with managed care; currently on multiple managed care provider panels.
  • Extensive experience with military families. Champus Standard and Tricare Provider.
  • Medicare provider
  • Founder and Director of Southern California Education & Training in Bowen Family Systems Theory and Psychotherapy in 1999. Offers education and training to individuals, groups and organizations interested in Bowen Family Systems Theory.
  • Family Systems Consultant/Supervisor to individuals, groups and organizations.
  • Registered Nurse (Active licenses 1970-1984) – 14 years of registered nursing background supports psychotherapeutic approach to chronic illness and caregiver support.
  • 2011 to Present Bowen Theory Academy, Vice President of Board of Directors
  • 2004 – 2012 Co-founder and Coordinator of the Network Program for the Advancement of Bowen Theory, Bowen Center for the Study of the Family, Washington D.C.
  • 2000 – 2003 Research Seminar Group, Bowen Center for the Study of the Family
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • California Psychological Association (CPA)
  • San Diego Psychological Association (SDPA)
  • American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
  • California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT)
  • San Diego Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (SD CAMFT)
  • Present – Director and faculty instructor at Southern CA Bowen Theory Postgraduate Training Program (June – September) in San Diego, CA.
  • Present – Presenter to monthly Bowen Theory Academy Think Tank via Zoom technology.
  • Present – Facilitator to on-going monthly “live” Bowen theory web cast seminars by Michael Kerr, M.D. (Director of the Bowen Theory Academy in Islesboro, ME.) Leads discussion and Q & A.
  • Present – Independent Supervisor/Coach to professionals interested in Bowen Family Systems Theory consultation.
  • 1998 to 2012 – Independent Bowen Theory Training Consultant to staff of the SD YMCA Youth & Family Services.
  • 1994 to 1999 – Clinical Director of Psychotherapy Services at YMCA Family Counseling Services – Chula Vista, CA. Director of Clinical Training for licensed staff, trainees and registered interns.
  • May 15, 1999 – Presented Continuing Education Training Course at Alliant/USIU San Diego entitled “Seminar on Bowen Family Systems Theory and Therapy: Emotional Reactivity and its Impact on Marital Functioning.” San Diego, CA.
  • January 30, 1998 – Faculty Presenter at San Diego Conference on Responding to Child Maltreatment, sponsored by Children’s Hospital and San Diego Center for Child Protection. Workshop entitled “Point/Counterpoint: Should Children Be Asked to Testify against Their Parents?” Panel Members: Dr. Carolyn Jacobs and Dr. Thomas Lyons, Associate Professor of Law, University of Southern California. Moderated by Daniel Goldstein – San Diego County District Attorney.
  • May 17, 1997 – Presented Continuing Education Training Course at California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego, entitled “Bowen Family Systems Theory: Couples Therapy.” San Diego, CA.
  • Jacobs, Carolyn, Psy.D. (2004). Supervision in Bowen Theory, Thought, and Therapy. The Therapist-Magazine of the California Association of Marriage and Family Theory, July/August, 60-62.
  • Pinker, S. (2002) The Blank Slate; The Modern Denial of Human Nature, New York, NY: Viking. Book Review by Carolyn Jacobs, Psy.D., in Family Systems: A Journal of Natural Systems Thinking in Psychiatry and the Sciences, Vol.7 No.1. pp. 83-96.
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San Diego Bowen Theory Conference

Online Live Streaming Bowen Theory Conference featuring Daniel Papero, Ph.D. Registration Form. Friday, March 19, 2021. Click here to register.